Race to the Bottom

Is a lack of funding the problem with Pennsylvania’s education system? Lincoln Institute’s Lowman Henry answers this question with a resounding no, in his recent article, Race to the Bottom. Henry elucidates how the latest competition for federal stimulus dollars for underperforming schools is actually a race to the bottom.

Studies have found no correlation between per-pupil expenditures and student achievement. From 1968 to 2008 education spending in Pennsylvania increased by five times the rate of inflation; the state’s stagnant education performance is not a result of underfunding.

Governor Rendell’s solution to lobby for additional federal dollars for education won’t solve our school’s problems. The current education system is broken, the answer is not to increase educational spending while ignoring needed reforms

As Henry remarks it is “significant, structural and meaningful reforms” that the state needs to improve student’s education. Here are some alternatives for legislators to improve the educational system:

  • School Choice
  • Weighted Student Funding
  • High Standards
  • Repeal Prevailing Wage Laws
  • Merit Pay